Praise the Lord, one of the benefits of the “safe summer” this year, is the return of "physical" conferences that we longed for, after having held hundreds of virtual conferences that we are accustomed to, of course, which lack real participation and interaction among the participants. Accordingly, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) held, a few days ago, the first "physical" conference after restrictions have been eased in the wake of the spread of Corona virus. The conference, patronized by Minister of Culture Ali Al-Ayed was titled, "Fratelli Tutti" (You Are All Brothers).
The conference stressed that today we are on one ship with large waves rising above it. The Corona wave was not the first one and it will not be the last. We are in the midst of the sea; we are still sailing and proceeding, yet we need to enroot and entrench a real culture, a constructive culture, a culture that bodes well for the future, and a culture instilling grace that transcends simple hope so that man can witness a decent, free, pioneering, and creative life in all areas of presence in this life.
We thank God these days, for the blessing of healing the homeland, and, God willing, we are moving towards full recovery. Life will restore to life, namely to normalcy, but we need to grasp lessons, the most important of which are: How do we entrench the culture of brotherhood and solidarity among all spectrums of society, regardless of religion, race, gender, nationality, as well as political or social affiliation? The world has been united in the face of suffering, and now it is united in hope. We need to have these words become part of our daily culture, namely a culture that transcends the information that modern media inundates us on daily bases.
As we mark the centenary of this homeland and the well-established state of Jordan, we plead with the Almighty God--Who has bestowed upon us a large number of pioneering educational institutions as well as intellectual and cultural institutions--to help us maintain a culture of brotherhood and solidarity as an essential part of our local culture that we export to the entire world. Our culture is one of openness. When His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein welcomed Pope John Paul II in 2000, the Pope said: "I congratulate Jordanians for their hospitality and openness." The culture of accepting others is part of our Jordanian culture as well. We have exported to the entire world well-established initiatives that have become international ones in the field of dialogue and acceptance of others, especially religious acceptance of others. This is a great honor for us as we mark the centenary. Among our Jordanian culture is also the culture of kindly welcoming others whether they are pilgrims, tourists, workers, investors, conference organizers, immigrants or refugees. Jordan is good at welcoming others by being a comforter, a one who bandages wounds and treats them with noble Jordanian oil.
In short, the first "physical" conference pointed out that we did not come to “establish” a culture of brotherhood and solidarity, but rather to “enhance” it in our homeland as a daily message, because our Jordanian culture, or rather our message, has prevailed since its establishment. After the elapse of a century we must contribute to consolidating brotherhood and solidarity to be our target for the culture of a new centenary.